From the October 2001 issue of Entrepreneur

One adage that's taken a hit lately is "The rich get richer and the poor get poorer." We've already seen some pretty rich guys get poorer. So it'd be nice to start seeing some cash-poor people get a little richer.

If that happens, franchising may be a factor. Forget the notion that buying a franchise is just for rich people. We've uncovered some franchise opportunities that may help people start a business-maybe even an empire-without having to slap down a lot of cash upfront. The following franchises, all with total costs of less than $20,000, are prime examples.

This listing is not intended to endorse any particular franchise company. Rather, it should provide you with a starting point in your search for the right franchise-a search that should also include a thorough investigation and analysis of a franchise's UFOC and other literature, visits with existing franchisees, and consultation with an attorney and an accountant. There's no better investment you can make in your quest to get a little richer than simply doing you due diligence.